Aftab Pureval, 35, whose parents immigrated from India, recently opened his campaign office April 12, in his race for the U.S. House from Ohio’s District 1.
Aftab Karma Singh Pureval’s late father was Indian-American and his mother is of Tibetan descent, making him possibly the first person of part-Tibetan heritage to run for the U.S. Congress. The Ohio Democratic primary is scheduled for May 8, and Pureval is unopposed, which means he is campaigning to unseat incumbent Republican Steve Chabot in the November 6 elections.
Among the many who came to the opening of Pureval’s office was Julie Flanders, who tweeted, “Great to stop by the @AftabPureval office opening this evening & see such a great turnout! First time I’ve ever been excited about a candidate in my district #aftabforcongress #Cincinnati #quackattack”
The “#quackattack” was a reference to the comedic take in one of Pureval’s videos that conflated the ‘Aflack’ duck in the famous ad, and his first name, Aftab.
Pureval has received numerous endorsements for his candidacy, one of the most recent ones from the Cincinnati Teachers, which he indicated he particularly values. “I am running for Congress in part because of the public school teachers who taught me to dream big,” he said in a recent mailing for donations. “There is no group I admire more than our public educators. They do so much more than just teach our students — they inspire, they listen, they push our kids to be better,” Pureval said, adding, “In many instances, they serve as a child’s fiercest advocate. In far too many cases, they are the ones purchasing the classroom’s supplies.”
Born and raised in Southwest Ohio, and educated in public schools, Pureval is viewed as a worthy candidate to run against Chabot who is from Westwood.”He’s an incredibly talented public servant who has already made an impact in his role as Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, even earning praise from top Republican officials who are impressed with his accomplishments,” Gautam Raghavan of the Indian-American Impact Project and Indian-American Impact Fund, told News India Times in an earlier interview.
Pureval was student body president at the Ohio State University and did law from the University of Cincinnati where he was editor of the Law Review, and worked at the Domestic Violence Clinic. He was also appointed by Governor Bob Taft to work on a taskforce with university presidents and state legislators to study higher-education funding and submit strategies for reform, his bio states.
After law school, Pureval joined the law firm of White & Case LLP,in Washington, D.C. where he handled anti-trust law, and was honored with a firm-wide award for his pro bono work representing battered women.
Pureval returned to Hamilton County where he worked as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Department of Justice. As a federal prosecutor, he worked with the FBI, Secret Service, and other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute felonies involving guns, crimes against children, and white-collar crimes.
“Washington Democrats could be close to landing their big-time candidate to take on Congressman Steve Chabot this fall,” Cincinnati.com said earlier this year, describing Pureval as a great catch.
“He represents the future of political leadership in this country, and his story and his family’s story is evidence of the promise of America,” said Raghavan, former White House liaison to the Pentagon during the Obama administration.